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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MAT3017 Module Title: MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
Module Provider: Mathematics Short Name: MS343
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: BEVAN JJ Dr (Maths)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Written report: Student’s end of module report
School report: Teacher's end of course report (moderated)
Project and Presentation: The special project materials and a 15 minute presentation on the project
Essay: Written account of an aspect of the learning and teaching of mathematics

Module Overview

There are no prerequisites, but there are only a limited number of places available. Students will be selected by an interview process that will take place in week 1 of the Autumn Semester.

This module cannot be taken together with the BSc Mathematics Project (MAT3019), or the Literature Review (MAT3018). This module is NOT available to those who have done teacher training.
Module Aims
This module provides an opportunity for final-year students to gain first hand experience of mathematics education through a mentoring scheme with mathematics teachers in local secondary schools. Typically, each student will work with one class for half a day every week for 10 weeks. The classes may vary from Year 7 to Year 12. Students will be given a range of responsibilities, from classroom assistant to the organisation and teaching of a self-originated special project. Only a limited number of places are available and students will be selected on the basis of their commitment and suitability for working in schools.
Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will have gained substantial experience of working in a challenging and unpredictable environment. They will have gained a broad understanding of many of the key practical aspects of teaching mathematics in schools. In addition, they will have researched and produced an extended essay relating to one aspect of the theory of teaching mathematics or recent developments in the learning and teaching of mathematics in schools. The specific and transferable skills they will have attained include:



·         Understanding the needs of individuals.


·         Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues.


·         Staff responsibilities and conduct.


·         Standard teaching methods.


·         Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.


·         Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations.


·         Public speaking and communication skills.


·         Finding material from the library and web on a topic related to mathematics education.


·         Presenting a coherent written report on an aspect of mathematics education.



They will have gained experience of answering questions about their subject and will be able to assess and devise appropriate ways to communicate a difficult principle or concept. The students will develop their communication skills, both in a one-to-one situation and when speaking to an audience. The students will be able to use these skills to address some of the problems specific to mathematics education, such as the need to break down any stereotypes of mathematics and mathematicians that pupils may have.
Module Content

Training and basic skills The students will be given an initial introduction to relevant elements of the National Science Curriculum and its associated terminology, (eg 'Key Stage 3' etc.). They will receive a half day of basic training in working with children and conduct in the school environment, and will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the module.


Classroom observation and assistance Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level of mathematics taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher in lesson preparation or administrative work.


Teaching assistance The teacher will assign the student actual teaching tasks, which will be dependent on specific needs. This could include offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class.


Extra-curricular activities The student may be supervised by the teacher in running an out-of-timetable activity (if appropriate), such as an after-school maths club or special coaching periods for higher ability students.


Special project Following discussion with the teacher as to what would be appropriate, each student will devise a special project that will interest or be of use to the particular pupils they are working with, be it as part of a maths club or part of the day-to-day teaching of mathematics. The student will have to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials and basic tests.


Written report The students will be required to keep a journal of their progress in working in the classroom environment and to write a critical report based on this journal. The special project materials will also be submitted, some of which may be written.


Mathematics education essay The students will also be expected to undertake background reading and write a carefully-argued extended essay (4000 - 5000 words) related to the learning and teaching of mathematics. This will be supervised by the Departmental Contact. A title should be agreed between the student and the Departmental Contact early in the Spring Semester. For example, past essays have considered


  • Does the use of IT and the internet in the classroom aid the learning of mathematics?


  • Attitudes to mathematics and how they can be improved.


  • A critical analysis of ‘written methods’ used in the National Curriculum to teach basic numeracy skills.


  • How should calculators be used in mathematics education?
Methods of Teaching/Learning

There are no formal lectures associated with this course. An initial training session will provide the students with an introduction to working with children and the level of mathematics teaching they will be participating in. Students will be matched with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area. This teacher will then act as a mentor and assessor to the student during the course. The teacher will offer guidance to the student during their weekly interaction and will individually determine the level of responsibility and pupil interaction to be expected of the student. Typically, students will spend three hours per week in the school for the 10 weeks of the Spring semester.


Teaching is by discussion, directed reading and interaction between the student and teacher. Learning takes place through the preparing of appropriate teaching materials, through the practice of teaching along with discussion, background reading, private study and the writing of the reports.

Selected Texts/Journals

Suggested Reading :


Mathematics National Curriculum.,


GCSE and A-level syllabuses:,,


Training and Development Agency for Schools



Steve Chinn : Sum Hope, Souvenir Press (1998), ISBN 0285634550


Maria Goulding : Learning to Teach Mathematics, David Fulton Publishers (2004), ISBN 1843120283


John Holt : How Children Learn, Penguin (1991), ISBN 0140136002


John Holt : How Children Fail, Penguin (1991), ISBN 0140135561


Michael Marland : Craft of the Classroom, Heinemann (2002), ISBN 0435806092


Adrian Smith :  Making Mathematics Count (DfES 2004),



Other subject-specific material as advised by teacher.
Last Updated

September 10